Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Opens Friday, December 13, 2013 
2 hr 40 min
PG-13 | Frightening Images and Fantasy Action Violence

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug brings us back to the beautiful Tolkien world which we last visited a year ago.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey left everyone hanging with its abrupt ending breaking up The Hobbit book in three.  With the lack of action and suspense in the first movie, it didn't take much effort for The Desolation of Smaug to overtake the first film.  After all, we finally get to see Smaug!

As far as action, it was leaps and bounds better than the first.  Several scenes really stand out especially with Orlando Bloom as Legolas in action with Evangeline Lilly's character Tauriel.  The choreography is amazing with Legolas jumping all over the place, slashing and shooting at orcs during the Dwarfs' break out of the Elven prison.  Visually, the movie is just impressive in IMAX 3D at a high frame rate.  From Smaug the dragon to the little things like the lighting and effects, amazing detail was put into the film.

What I didn't like was the beginning of the film which according to Ian McKeller during the Q&A at the screening I was intended was shot last and added on from the appendices.  The movie like An Unexpected Journey had too many plodding parts which just prolonged the movie longer than it should.  Watching the dwarfs journey from A to Z without any action other makes you think they could have avoided making us pay for a third movie and just finished it in two movies.  And yes, like the first one, more so this one, the movie ends abruptly just as it gets good.  Watching dwarfs unrealistically running around avoiding the powerful Smaug without casualties is not the finish that you want left imprinted on you until the next film.

Besides that, other things you may or may not enjoy includes the romance angle Peter Jackson throws in for Tauriel and one of the Dwarfs that really leads nowhere.  As well, noticeably missing are the songs that was prevalent in the first movie.  The soundtrack is still great, but missing the "high ho" singing that added to the ambiance of the movie.  And also is it just me or is Legolas putting on a bit of weight since the last film?  His cheeks sure are a bit puffy.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and would recommend watching it on IMAX 3D if you can.  Martin Freeman is again amazing as Bilbo Baggins.  Seeing his slow corruption by the One Ring with the different raw emotions that he shows over the course of the film is enjoying.  The ending as I've warned is abrupt to lead to the final battle in the third movie.  Leaving you screaming at the screen to just finish the darn film.  Or at least that's what I did...

What did you think of the film, if you had a chance to see it?

Rating: 4.0 Stars out of 5.0 Stars


  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey
  • Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
  • Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas
  • Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel
  • Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman
  • Lee Pace as Thranduil
  • Stephen Fry as Master of Lake-town
  • Graham McTavish as Dwalin
  • Ken Stott as Balin
  • Aidan Turner as Kíli
  • Dean O'Gorman as Fíli
  • Mark Hadlow as Dori
  • Jed Brophy as Nori
  • Adam Brown as Ori
  • John Callen as Óin
  • Peter Hambleton as Glóin
  • William Kircher as Bifur
  • James Nesbitt as Bofur
  • Stephen Hunter as Bombur
  • Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn
  • Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown
  • Craig Hall as Galion
  • Ryan Gage as Alfrid
  • John Bell as Bain
  • Mark Mitchinson as Braga
  • Manu Bennett as Azog
  • Lawrence Makoare as Bolg
  • Ben Mitchell as Narzug
  • Dallas Barnett as Bill Ferny Sr.

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